By Jamie MacDonald | Aug. 18, 2017, 5:42 p.m. (ET)

What are Team USA athletes — Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls — up to when they're not competing? They're training. They're practicing. They're traveling to competitions and meets and games and tournaments. They're relaxing. They're getting engaged and married and having children. They're taking hard-earned vacations. Or retiring. Or coping with the raw emotions that come from losing and winning. And they're sharing. Through the reach of social media, we're able to follow along on their often extraordinary journeys. We'll catch you up each week on what's "Red, White & Trending."

 

The Home Stretch

While there aren’t any moms out there who have won 23 tennis Grand Slam titles and four Olympic gold medals, on this much they can relate to Serena Williams …

Who Has Next?

Not many offseason pickup games can boast about a visit from an Olympian. Or Olympians. But that’s what happened this past week when the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and LeBron James rolled up for some casual hooping within about a month of getting back to work with their respective NBA teams. In four parts, Anthony posted some of the action for his 8.9 million Twitter followers, amassing nearly 15,000 retweets.

 

 

 

 

Going Viral


How great is this? One of the elements that make up for all the stress of competition and trials of training, the long long days and missed nights of fun with friends is the camaraderie that makes some of those things, along with the opportunity to be considered among the world’s very best, all seem worthwhile. After Kori Carter won the 400-meter hurdles event at the World Championships in London this past week, that camaraderie took on a pretty good life of its own when her teammates hopped on #TheKoriCarter bandwagon. Have a look …

 

 

Carter edged out Team USA teammate and Rio 400-meter hurdles champion Dalilah Muhammad en route to gold. And the additional internet celebrity.

Cross Training

While we’re on the subject of camaraderie …

Here’s 2012 Olympic 110-meter hurdles champion Aries Merritt, a few weeks removed from racing his signature event, again in London but this time with a new kidney at the World Championships, trading apprenticeships with world champion and Rio Olympic shot put medalist Joe Kovacs.

Quick tale of the tape …

Kovacs: 6-feet, 295 pounds
Merritt: 6-feet-1, 158 pounds

Celeb Sightings

Dave Chappelle, who has an extended engagement at the famous venue, hosted a number of famous guests taking in one of his shows at Radio City Music Hall. Among them: one of the world’s best swimmers, Team USA’s multi-distance Olympic and world champion Katie Ledecky. Ledecky also ran into Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Team USA superfan Leslie Jones, who, we were reminded in the comments by three-time Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt, was “was right there cheering loud for you in Rio!!!!!!”

 

Weekend update: You run into the funniest people at comedy shows

A post shared by Katie Ledecky (@kledecky) on

Overall, it was a pretty good week in VIP celeb elbow-rubbing for Ledecky …

 

You run into the funniest guys at the ballpark

A post shared by Katie Ledecky (@kledecky) on

Fore-Cast?

Three years is a long way away, and golf can be a mercilessly fickle game, but 24-year-old Justin Thomas earned himself a place in the conversation among the very best of a new generation of golfers in this country by winning his first major at the PGA Championship this past Sunday. Team USA was watching, too, including Olympic basketball and hockey stars, as well as golfing buddies ready to congratulate the Kentucky-born Thomas.

 

 

 

Speaking Of Golf …

Now underway: The Solheim Cup in Des Moines, Iowa, where red, white and blue are on full display …

 

 

I'm ready for @solheimcupusa now πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

A post shared by Brittany Lincicome (@brittany1golf) on

 

 

Ready for @solheimcupusa β€οΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’™

A post shared by Gerina Piller (@gerinampiller) on

 

 

#squad β€οΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ’™ #letsgetthisshowontheroad

A post shared by Gerina Piller (@gerinampiller) on

 

In the previous edition, in 2015, Team USA trailed the European team, 10-6, before the final day of competition, only to win eight of 12 singles matches to win back the Solheim Cup.

Path To Greatness: Through Failure

When you compete with the motivation of becoming singularly excellent, the world’s very best, there are often devastating losses along the way. Even Allyson Felix can’t finish first every time, and the most decorated American woman in Olympic track and field history could not hide her disappointment despite also becoming the World Championships’ most decorated.

 

 

Her message coming out of London was one of great encouragement for anyone who is willing to endure losses as a part of the process toward succeeding.

 

Going Green

What to do with 60 hours in Vermont? For Team USA slalom skier Robby Kelley, he took a hike in the Green Mountains. Soon, he’ll be headed for another continent while chasing some snow.

Paradise Found

Meanwhile, Olympic alpine skiing star Mikaela Shiffrin is on her way back from New Zealand, but she seemed to have enjoyed her stay …

 

"I am. Two of the most powerful words; for what you put after them shapes your reality." -Bevan Lee

A post shared by Mikaela Shiffrin (@mikaelashiffrin) on

 

On the other hand, let’s hope snowboard prodigy and PyeongChang hopeful Chloe Kim’s time in New Zealand goes better than her welcome did.

 

A very warm welcome from the inhabitants of Wanaka, New Zealand!!! Commentary: @lauratates20

A post shared by Chloe Kim (@chloekimsnow) on

Also below the equator, but half a world away, still more of Team USA has another stunning ski location for training at a resort not far from Santiago, Chile.

 

@andrew_weibrecht getting some airtime in La Parva, Chile this morning. #americandownhiller

A post shared by Neil Lande (@neillande) on

 

 

American Downhilling @usskiteam @atomic @uvex @windhammountain #americandowhiller

A post shared by Tommy Biesemeyer (@tcbiesemeyer) on

 

Countdown … To …

Think three-time skeleton Olympian Katie Uhlaender, who finished .04 of a second off the podium in Sochi, has South Korea on her mind?